Mmm… Food

Week 11: Eat This Book
March 27, 2009, 7:59 am
Filed under: Uncategorized


Eat This Book by Ryan Nerz.

2 Stars.  Entertaining, but more fluff.  There were a few glimpses into the people behind the personalities of the Competitive Eating Circuit, but on a whole I was left feeling like I had watched a 5 minute news excerpt.  The kind of story that might be presented on local news after one of the local food contests was presented.  Eh.


New Years Resolutions! A new recipe a week!
January 4, 2009, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

2009 is here!!  I do follow the New Years traditions of resolutions, perhaps even a little more extreme.  Well, maybe only extreme in my hopes to try and beat the system.  I don’t just make one resolution in hopes of becoming a better person.  As a realist, I know I won’t be able to keep most of any resolutions I set out to make, so i try to make as many as possible in hopes that at least a few of them will be possible.  So a couple quick ones that end up on the list every year… 1) floss everyday 2) take a daily vitamin 3) put in those damn eye drops to prevent myself from going blind (I hate medication)  These are of course the ones that go up every year as things I should of course be doing as part of my daily routines, but I dont’ like doing them, I’m not excited to work on them.  They are just things I need to work on to stay alive and healthy.  What I get more excited about it the resolutions that are repeating or new that I’m pscyhed about making.  Included in there this year is the resoluion to…

COOK A NEW RECIPE EVERY WEEK!! – While I love to cook, this is sometimes a struggle.  Everybody falls into a rut and can’t get into the kitchen. I am not immune to this syndrome.  I spent the good part of the last month eating Jimmy Johns, pizza and burgers at the Edgewater lounge.  But it’s a new year and I’m excited about food.  I checked this resolution off my list this week tonite by making a Vegetarian Squash and Black Bean Chili.  



Recipe courtesy of the new x-mas purchase from Borders with some gift certificates of the “bon appetit:  fast easy fresh” which hits on so many of my wants in a recipe.  Fast is essential, work and commute take too much time away from having time to prepare an elaborate meal at home every nite.  I need it now and I need it now!!!  Then there’s the fresh.  I’ve really enjoyed working with the seasonal produce of the food share, and this means all your ingredients are fresh.  The easy is just an added benefit.  April often accuses me of wanting to make the hardest recipes.   I feel the need to challenge myself and prepare some crazy delectable meals that I have been slaving over all day.  Usually I save these for early Friday’s 🙂  While I would love to spend more time all the time, it just doesn’t work this way.

America’s Test Kitchen: Why am I just learning about this now!?!
January 3, 2009, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Cooking, Uncategorized

The new apartment I share with my girlfriend comes with the added benefit of free cable television.  Neither of us had cable at our old apartments.  TV’s were for watching DVD’s or playing video games but not for actual television watching.  “What about the free channels?  Don’t you at least get NBC and Public Television??”  The problem of living in a city is that all the tall buildings create so much interference that even getting the free broadcast television stations is difficult.  Rabbit ears bring the blizzard snow on the screen down to a hard rain, but it has never really been watchable.  So yes, we were excited to learn that our new rent check would not only afford us a roof over our heads, but the benefit hundreds of cable television channels for my viewing pleasure.  I would now have access to the FOOD Network.  24 hours a day food programming.  And as if that 24 hour a day food shows is not enough there is still Top Chef on Bravo,  Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations of the Travel Channel, Martha Stewart on the Fine Living Network.  Overloaded with new options for food preparation entertainment I completely ignored those “free channels”  with channel number like 5, 7 or 11.  I only watched shows on channel 222 or higher!!  I had the high life accessible now.  But all this did for me, was allow to me miss one of my new favourite shows on Public Televison and that is America’s Test Kitchen.  Seriously.  This is where it’s at.  

America’s Test Kitchen airs on Public Television.  The show “America’s Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe.” 

These are the same people who run my new favourite magazine, Cooks Illustrated.  This is their free version.  And there’s something about the free version that is so honest and truthful that you always want, but sometimes have to be wary of that a corporate sponsor is choosing for you.   They have equipment testings that recommend the best equipment and they tell you a specific brand and type to purchase.  This is information you might only otherwise find by paying for Consumer Reports, and you don’t know who’s doing the judging.  Here you can watch real people explain the benefits of a particular item.  

I can’t get enough, I just watched an episode on TV that made dark brown sugar cookies, where they browned the butter before cooking which made for a more tender cookie.  Creaming can make a finer grain in the cookie where melting the butter eliminates the formation of as much gluten and makes the cookie more tender and chewy.  So cool!!! This is the info I always wanted to know!!!

So turn off that cable, or at least don’t ignore the “free” channels, or you’ll be missing out on this treat.  You

6 days to our first pick up
June 6, 2008, 1:10 am
Filed under: Random Facts, Uncategorized

This summer will be my first in Adventures with CSA or Community Supported Agriculture.  In an effort to be better for the world my girlfriend and I will be participating in our first food share.  This was a new concept to me last summer when my Green Goddess Friend Lara first introduced me to the concept of CSA’s.  Community Supported Agriculture basically works like this.  A local farm (or collective of farms) grow the food, you buy a “share” of what grows and each week you get a plethora of fresh veggies and fruits, with options for eggs, cheese, milk and other goodies in the mix. You assume the risk of weather up front, hope for the best in the growing season and reap the benefit when you get hot humid days like today.  Our first pickup from Home Grown Wisconsin is next Wednesday and will continue weekly until Mid October.  Who knows what kind of goodness will arrive.  Our share will be split with my parents to aid in consumption and cost efficency of said goodness. In addition to what will arrive with the food share, I’ve started a mini-garden on our front porch.  My mother provided us some starter plants including 2 tomatoes, 6 assorted pepper plants and some lettuce.  The basil plant that survived in a small pot on the windowsill for two years at my girlfriends place now has a large pot of it’s own and has doubled in size already.  I also planted some seeds of cilantro, oregano and lime basil.  They just started to poke their heads up out of the dirt and whisper “i’m alive” not frankensteinien as they still look so tiny and fragile.  That’s a quartrer in the dirt so you can see how big they are.  Check it out!!!

The oregano is so freaking tiny yo!